Due to the long layoff between NFL campaigns, memories of the previous year can easily become murky - especially the ones that don't seem real.
Let's take a quick trip down memory lane to remind you of three statistics from the 2017 season that will make you wonder, "How in the hell?!"
Cam Newton is arguably the most unique player to ever line up under center thanks to his otherworldly athleticism and size. He does things that no other quarterback can do, as evidenced by his insane MVP year in 2015.
But 2017 wasn't Newton's best season. He struggled to push the ball downfield and produced far too many turnovers. Yet, it's not until you examine his game-by-game statistics more closely that you realize just how extreme his campaign was from an inconsistency standpoint.
Newton only had only one - I repeat, one - regular-season game in which he finished with a passer rating between 87 and 120, a range in which most quarterback's performances fall.
|Good Cam||Bad Cam|
|130.8 (Wk 4)||87.3 (Wk 1)|
|141.8 (Wk 5)||83.9 (Wk 2)|
|120.4 (Wk 10)||43.8 (Wk 3)|
|128.0 (Wk 15)||48.5 (Wk 6)|
|54.9 (Wk 7)|
|66.4 (Wk 8)|
|71.0 (Wk 9)|
|59.8 (Wk 12)|
|64.9 (Wk 14)|
|65.4 (Wk 16)|
|31.5 (Wk 17)|
Additionally, Joe Flacco's overall 2017 passer rating was just 0.3 less than Newton's 80.7, but even he had a whopping nine games within the aforementioned range, which highlights how crazy it is that Newton only managed one.
The Seattle Seahawks' offense in 2017 was the Russell Wilson show, as the quarterback was forced to carry his unit like no other player in NFL history. The star pivot accounted for an NFL-record 86 percent of Seattle's offensive output, including a team-leading 588 rushing yards.
But somehow, that stat isn't the most insane one to come from the unbalanced Seahawks attack.
Not only did no Seattle player outside of Wilson score a rushing touchdown within an opponent's 10-yard line, but the entire group couldn't even gain positive yardage in that range despite 20 carries combined.
That Rashaad Penny selection isn't looking like such a reach anymore, right?
(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
While Alex Smith's 2017 season performance wasn't enough to keep his job with the Kansas City Chiefs, it will be remembered for the quarterback's drastically different playing style compared to the rest of his career.
The Chiefs' 5-0 start was propelled by Smith's newfound aggressive mentality, as the so-called game manager literally threw caution to the wind and transformed into an elite deep-ball passer. When Kansas City then faltered at midseason, many assumed Smith would regress back to his usual level of play for the remainder of the campaign - but that couldn't have been further from the truth.
Smith actually finished the season with the league's best passer rating on throws of 20-plus yards with a mark of 134.7, according to Matt Harmon of NFL.com. To put that into even more impressive context, Smith was closer to a perfect mark of 158.3 than he was to fourth-placed Josh McCown (108.3).
(Stats courtesy: Pro Football Reference)